07 June 2018

charlotte inside and out

I really like the light through the back of our house in the evenings. Of course, now we keep the curtains closed between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 pm because of the boiling alive factor, but I usually reopen them when the sun fades so we can see the Light. 

It seems pretty stupid, or unimportant, to care about something like that, but it just makes me feel calm and happy and that's good enough for me.

Now, in the mornings, the front porch is the place to be. In fact, all times of day the porch is the place to be because of this view to begin with:
 And then the shade and the breeze in the afternoons and evenings. 
 Our house looked like this in the middle of Nate's yard work. He put in 15 hour days every Saturday in May and on his birthday, along with his dad's help, and worked until about 9 most nights and made everything perfect and ready for grass. He made these steps on the steep side of the house and we were like, "Cool."
 And then on Monday we laid the sod and now we're like, "COOOOOOOOOL!!"

We love Charlotte.

15 May 2018


Well time flies when you're having May. We haven't really even hiked yet, besides the day Calvin went to scout camp with Nate and I took the girls to Logan Canyon with some Noodles takeout for a picnic. Then we walked for about six minutes, but Maggie kept sitting down and crying and Norah stopped every twelve seconds to take her sandals off to get the dirt out of them. So we decided just to go back and throw rocks in the river for a while, which was ok with all of us because we seem to love throwing things in rivers. I'd like to meet someone who doesn't.

11 May 2018


 I just love Nate's Skeptical Face (as seen above). Sometimes he just gets a bee in his bonnet about the legitimacy of something, and he just makes this face a lot. It is funny. Sometimes he's right and the thing is bunk, but sometimes he's not which was the case with the Old Barn Theater in The Middle of Nowhere. ("Is it just in someone's garage?" he said as we turned off the highway.) 
 It turned out to be a very small, but very sincere little theater in the middle of nowhere, just as I had suspected. And good thing, too, because we went there for our tenth anniversary date last Saturday. We saw "And Then There Were None," not for the first time. One of the great things about Agatha Christie, at least if you've seen and read as much of her as we have, is that no matter if you remember the one you're seeing for a duplicate time you can almost never remember the ending. Who did do it anyway? It's great.
 I think this is the first year we have bought each other actual gifts, too. Gifts! I bought Nate a motorcycle saddle bag thingimijig he mentioned about six minutes after he mentioned it, and he bought me this stained glass window I've been pining for for over a year. I looooooooooooove it him.

10 May 2018

forever birthday

 On her birthday, Magnolia was super confused about why we were singing to her at breakfast. But that night we had cake and more singing, and then she was like "Oh yeah! I know what's going on here!" Then there was more singing a few days later, and then the next week even more singing and presents because Gromma and Grompa P were back in town--and by that point she was just like, "Oh yeah, we do this every few days for me. I'm pretty special." She  may be sad to learn that her birthdays are really over now.

 I got Mags the same sandals Norah and I have. We are pretty cool twinners. Her other present is a water bottle, so she would stop stealing all of ours.

25 April 2018

easter comes but once a year

 We had some fun leading up to Easter this year. I sewed some felt Easter eggs for putting candy in, because I had some felt on hand, and I had come across a post while I was looking for Waldorf School information where someone had made them--and all our plastic ones were broken. To my surprise, Calvin loved sewing them, and made about three himself. Then, Norah and I wet-felted some decorative eggs to put in little stick nests. It was fun and funny, but we weren't very good at it. I wanted to go to an activity the stake was having about Passover, but we couldn't go the day it was on, so maybe we'll try to expand our horizons next year.
 We dyed our eggs with red cabbage this year. It was also fun and funny, and scientifically illuminating. Solids, bases, pink to blue color change and all such stuff. Also, that way I didn't have to buy anything because we had half a cabbage that was getting too old to eat.
 I bought Calvin a book on WWII, Norah some paper dolls which she loved for a day and then hasn't played with since, and Mags a pack of markers. I thought, at the time I bought them, this is probably a mistake. Nate made scavenger hunts, or treasure hunts, or clues for the kids to find their loot. And I made one for Nate! But I can't remember what I gave him. 
 I bought two bags of candy, and I needn't have bought any, since we went over to Petersons' after lunch, and got about sixty bags worth, as usual.
I made the girls gingham dresses, and Calvin wanted a tie but he didn't get one. You can't always get what you wa-ant, as my dad would say or sing in the 90s.

18 April 2018

the more it snows, tiddly pom

The "Blog" so to speak is now good for almost nothing; nothing but house updates, weather updates, and shagginess of my children's hair updates.

First, they came and graded our dirt a few weeks ago, which I really doubted would happen in a timely manner. So we are going to be able to get our lawn in this year after all! And a garden. And  a secret garden. We just have to get sprinklers in first. Easy. (Ahem.)

Next, the weather. It has not been warm. It has been quite unwarm. There has been raining and snowing and wind beyond compare. But Monday was the wind of the changing of the seasons, so I think we have turned the corner.

Lastly, the children's hairs are all out of control. 

12 March 2018


Norah was almost TWO when we moved to Hyde Park.
Maggie was almost TWO when we moved into Charlotte.
Like, what?! This picture confused me for a minute because Migs wears that shirt now and has those teeth and cheeks. La la la love.

05 March 2018

hug you

You know how adorable 2-year-olds say "hold you!" when they want you to hold them? This one, slightly less than 2, doesn't follow the rules. She says, "HUG YOU," instead. Hug you, you guys. She also: whispers "love you too" into your cheek sometimes, sings along to every song, colors, still yells BABY whenever she sees another child (so fifty times a day), points out every bow, says, "Mine," in a way that sounds like she means it, and watches TV clutching the piano (the TV is on the piano...). She is a sprite of the absolute kind.

25 February 2018


With all this talk here and there and everywhere about minimalism these days, I have come to realize something. I am an utter minimalist at heart. When I see articles or house tours about minimalism, they generally include tips; I used to get excited and be like, "Oh I'd love to learn about how to become a minimalist," and I'd read them. And then it would be suggestions of things that I already do, and have always done, and I'd be disappointed. "Give ten items to charity every month," or "Basically just don't buy things," or "Go through your kitchen and get rid of duplicates." (Duplicates?! Ha!)  So I already am what I want to be? No, not really.

No one in those articles ever mentions what a pain in the neck it can be to long for NO STUFF in a family that requires stuff to exist. The kids actually need more than one pair of shoes (two maybe, except in winter, then boots too). Some people actually feel really special when you buy them things. If you have extra cans of tomato sauce in your pantry you don't have to rush to the store at 4:45 to buy ingredients to make dinner, ever again.

Also, I'm sorry to say, minimalism doesn't just revolve around the "stuff" aspect of life. It is such a mindset that I generally do the least amount of work I can to get the thing I want out of it. Gretchen Rubin and her crew kindly call that kind of mindset being a "satisfiser," and label it as a good goal to aim for. And I guess it is good, when picking out socks or making decisions to build a house (all of our decisions turned out excellent by the way)--but what about when it comes to sweeping the floor? Or cleaning bathrooms? Still I guess it's good enough. (See, I'm doing it again. Good enough is good enough!) But it's certainly not good enough to make me a seamstress to anyone besides myself, or in developing other detail-oriented talents. I know some people who would call it plain old LAZY.

This is why I'm thinking perfectionists-turned minimalists are the ones who get all the press. Being a true minimal person is just not as interesting as sparse and beautifully lined up cupboards (mine are just sparse), clean open white floors and walls and furniture (I have children, including one racoon),

15 February 2018

charlotte at last

 The first night was last Thursday, one week ago. Since then we have hung curtains and a new light fixture and put together 7 chairs and 3 beds. I've begun putting up pictures and art and clocks and I color-coded the books.

We feel rather homey here.

06 February 2018

winter hols

 You will never guess what I did.
I took three kids on a plane by myself, voluntarily.

It was awesome!!
Thy became geniuses at Cal Tech with Harvey.
We wen to the beach at Santa Monica, but only after driving through a ritzy residential area for an hour thanks to my google maps navigation instructions.
PS I legit thought that the person in the foreground of the above picture was ME when I was glancing through my photos on my phone. HA.

It would have obviously been way more fun with Nate, but Brittany sure made it fun for us. I thought it would be better to rent a place to get out of the Needhams' hair, but I actually think it would have been more convenient to stay at their nice big apartment. Maybe next time, Cali.

22 January 2018

'Nother retraction

This is fun, all these retractions! It is the 22nd, and we are not in Charlotte yet. Next guess: February 2. Who is willing to place bets?!

10 January 2018


 The backwards pajama only worked for A DAY! She has been super naked all month and frankly it has been really difficult.
We are NOT in Charlotte yet, even though December is over. We are staying with the sainted Petersons again until the (cross your fingers) 22nd.

13 December 2017

december first half

The First Half of December:
 Magnolia Tree has been, well, an insane person. Totally off her rocker. She has learned a million new words, and is so funny but is also an actual Tasmanian Devil. Some of her favorite words are gloves, jack(et), on, down, baba (bread), drink, snack, cracker, apple, Na-aaa-aaa (haha, it's Norah), Dada, NOOOO, home (which means car), milk, book, mama (grandma), tv, humpty dumpty (which is more like Uh-ee, Uh-ee, but when she's pointing at humpty dumpty when she says it it's pretty clear what she means). She is also way into taking her clothes off, and we have finally gotten her to keep them on in bed by putting her zip up jammies on backwards. (We tried a million things that didn't work, including tape, so I didn't think that would work. But it did.)
 Calvin has been doing awesome at school and reading a ton, as always. He's reading Andrew Lost books, Secrets of Droon, Magic Treehouse and the last of the A to Z mysteries.
 Charlotte made a ton of progress the first week of December and then NOTHING HAPPENED for a week and I nearly died. They're working again this week so I may pull through.
Norah has been loving school and her friends there, especially Jaquelyn. She thinks her name is Norah Jocelyn Clark Peterson. She picked out a new hat with a fox on it, and now she will wear a hat. She still says "flumb" instead of thumb and "zizzors" instead of scissors, and I hope she never learns the real way.